Back in August 2022, High Life Highland’s Countryside Ranger for Wester Ross invited volunteers to begin moving much-loved plants – sea pinks – to new locations ahead of major development works planned along the sea front in Ullapool.
These plants were carefully removed from the shore wall to prevent the loss of thrift, or sea pink, from this part of the Ullapool village. This action came about amid plans to widen Shore Street and create a new sea wall, promenade, and pontoons.
A year on, the rather hardy sea pinks were replanted in Ullapool by the Countryside Ranger and volunteers, with support from the Ullapool Harbour Trust.
Imogen Furlong, High Life Highland’s Countryside Ranger Service Manager, said: “After being removed and gathered from the old sea wall in Ullapool last summer, these hardy plants have been surviving in reused fish boxes outside the Countryside Ranger’s residence.
“Unfortunately, a few were lost along the way. However, many survived and will now continue to thrive and bloom on the new sea wall.
“Huge thanks to the Ullapool Harbour Trust for their support of Jenny, the Countryside Ranger for Wester Ross, in this process; and to the original volunteer gatherers as well as volunteers from the replanting day which took place on Tuesday 3rd October this year.
“The aim is that the replanting of sea pinks will mark the beginning of a blooming wall, and an increase in biodiversity for the smart new Shore Street development. The entire Countryside Rangers Team is immensely proud of Jenny for leading these efforts.”
Jenny Grant, High Life Highland’s Countryside Ranger for Wester Ross, added: “There were a lot of sea pinks along the sea wall, and I know how fond local people and pollinators are of this hardy and beautiful plant – so it was important to preserve this somehow.
“Last summer, I got in touch with the Ullapool Harbour Trust, and they were incredibly positive about the idea to remove and replant, and offered their support in the project.
“Now that the Shore Street development has been completed, The Countryside Rangers and the Ullapool Harbour Trust have worked together again to replant the sea pinks and seeds, which is even more special as the Countryside Rangers have themed this year around ‘wildflowers’.
“My personal aim for this project was to have more sea pinks there than there were before.
“The team of Countryside Rangers and local volunteers took out hundreds of them that had past flowering. We planted some of these out in Ullapool last summer and kept other in a temporary holding place at the Ranger’s residence for when the development works were completed.
“All of the hard work will hopefully pay off next spring when the translocated plants will bloom again, because we have been able to successfully preserve Ullapool’s natural flora and ensure biodiversity remains in the area alongside the new Shore Street development.”